California and the West. Is there a region of the country as mythologized, as memorialized, or as misunderstood? Alta is a quarterly journal for anyone seeking an insider’s take on this most forward-thinking region. Arts and culture, technology and the environment, food and fashion: what happens here happens everywhere. Each large-format issue (California demands a wide lens) demystifies the region with compelling storytelling from the state’s best writers, photographers, and illustrators. Founded by William R. Hearst III, Alta offers an exciting—and much-needed—literary perspective where the conversation between writer and reader is as diverse and vibrant as the place itself. 

Please become familiar with our publication before submitting your work. We hope you'll consider becoming a member to receive the Alta journal. Issues are available on newsstands or from our online store. You may also visit our site: altaonline.com.

What’s Your Story?

In the early 1900s, a perfect storm began brewing for detective fiction. The widespread availability of steampowered printing and cheap paper made it possible for magazines and paperbacks to be published for a mass market, which meant that Argosy, Black Mask, and a generation of other titles were hungry to find writers like Paul Cain, Raymond Chandler, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas to fill their pages with hard-boiled tales.

Now, as part of our Fall issue’s celebration of noir, we’re inviting members of the Alta community (that’s you) to carry on the pulp tradition. So dust off your typewriter, summon your inner Dashiell Hammett, and enter the Alta Noir Story Contest.

Prizes

• WINNER: Publication of your short story on altaonline.com and a leather-bound edition of “Arson Plus” by Dashiell Hammett, printed and published by Thornwillow Press ($2,000 value)—a one-of-a-kind copy.

• RUNNERS-UP (TWO): Publication of your short story on altaonline.com and a numbered Patron’s edition of “Arson Plus” by Dashiell Hammett, printed and published by Thornwillow Press ($138 retail value)—one of only 75 copies.

The Basics

• DEADLINE: The deadline to submit is December 15, 2020. One submission per person. All stories must be less than 1,500 words.

• REQUIREMENTS: Each short story must be original and previously unpublished and contain the following five elements, in any order:

1. A lost letter

2. A nearby tiki bar

3. “Don't call the police." 

4. A blue silk kimono

5. “I thought you said you loved me." 

• FOR MORE INFORMATION on the Alta Noir Story Contest, including complete rules and how to enter, visit altaonline.com/noircontest.

 

Alta Noir Story Contest 

“The solution, once revealed, must seem to have been inevitable. At least half of all the mystery novels published violate this law.” 

—Raymond Chandler “Casual Notes on the Mystery Novel”



Please become familiar with our publication before submitting your work. We hope you'll consider becoming a member to receive the Alta journal. Issues are available on newsstands or from our online store. You may also visit our site: altaonline.com.

Alta’s commitment to celebrating the literature of California and the West includes publishing original poetry that conveys a strong sense of place and emotion. We prefer poems that are 30 lines or less. Please submit no more than four poems in a single file. We read all poetry submissions within 30 days and will contact you if we’re interested in publishing your work. Due to the high volume of correspondence we receive, we regret that we’re unable to reply to each submission. If you do not receive a reply from us within 30 days, please assume that we will not be able to publish your poems. 

Please become familiar with our publication before submitting your work. We hope you'll consider becoming a member to receive the Alta journal. Issues are available on newsstands or from our online store. You may also visit our site: altaonline.com.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to Alta. We look forward to reading your poems.

Alta is a writer’s magazine, providing an exciting new home for compelling voices. Our commitment to celebrating the literature of California and the West extends to publishing original short stories distinguished by lively writing that conveys a strong sense of place and narratives that move us. We prefer stories that are 2,500 words or less. We read all submissions within 30 days and will contact you if we’re interested in publishing your work. Due to the high volume of correspondence we receive, we regret that we’re unable to reply to each submission. If you do not receive a reply from us within 30 days, please assume that we will not be able to publish your story.

Please become familiar with our publication before submitting your work. We hope you'll consider becoming a member to receive the Alta journal. Issues are available on newsstands or from our online store. You may also visit our site: altaonline.com.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to Alta. We look forward to reading your fiction.

Alta Journal